roesel ustick
Public Art, Representation, and Questions of Revising the Past


  • Jenny Roesel Ustick University of Cincinnati





public art, gender, race, censorship, murals


Operating from the position of an artist with a mature practice in creating public art, this essay chronicles and contextualises the development of a series of works that consider the history, symbolism, interpretation, and evolving understanding of specific historic public artworks. There is a paradox in my development as a muralist: my significant experience while being affiliated with and working on behalf of a prominent community-based non-profit arts organization, where I repeatedly faced constraints upon the content and attitude of the work being created, earned me the notoriety and reputation that facilitates for-profit work that critiques design-by-committee at best, and malignant censorship at worst. Works in the series deal with the intersections of gender and race in the content of public artworks in tones that range from reverent to harshly critical and – in some cases – suggestive of reparative action.

How to Cite

Roesel Ustick, J. (2022). Public Art, Representation, and Questions of Revising the Past. Cubic Journal, 5(5), 94–109.



Author Biography

Jenny Roesel Ustick, University of Cincinnati

Jenny Roesel Ustick is associate professor of practice and foundations coordinator in the School of Art at DAAP, University of Cincinnati. She holds an MFA from the same program and a BFA from the Art Academy of Cincinnati. Ustick has become one of the most prominent muralists in her region and has painted around the US. Internationally, she has painted murals in Argentina and Sicily, and continues to expand her reach. Ustick’s solo and collaborative studio works have been exhibited in numerous galleries and museum venues that include the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, the Dayton Art Institute, and the Cincinnati Art Museum. Ustick has contributed essays to The Cincinnati Anthology and Still They Persist: Protest Art from the 2017 Women’s Marches. Her work has been featured in American Quarterly, the Huffington Post, Hyperallergic, and La Sicilia, as well as several local publications.


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